Tips For Fishing In Bad Weather – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Tips For Fishing In Bad Weather

Over the past 10 days we have had some very unpredictable weather here in South West Montana. From snow and rain to wind and highs in the 70’s, we have seen it all this October. On the 11th we had a snow storm roll through town that produced a few inches of snow in the higher elevations and about an inch here in town. The few days that follwed the snow storm were cold and EXTREMELY windy with fishing being almost impossible. Then, after about three days of that we woke up to a beautiful morning with afternoon highs in the 70’s. This trend is what we have had for the last three days and what we have today. One aspect of this back and forth weather that has not changed much in the last week as been the afternoon winds. They have been brutal! As a result of all of this the fishing has been hard to predict and difficult for most.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when the weather is working against you:

– Find protection from the wind: Think about were you want to fish. For example, if you were planing on fishing the Upper Madison and you wake up to 30 mph winds it would be better go fish a river that has some taller trees that could block some of that wind for you.

Figure out what direction the wind is blowing: If you want to fish and its windy, put yourself on the side of the river that will have the wind coming accross your body to your casting arm. This will keep your flies away from your face and body instead of having them blowing back in your direction on each cast. (This can make or break a windy day.)

– Fish the warmest part of the day (when its been cold): This time of year when the weather trends are changing from hot to cold the fish can get lethargic and tough to catch for a few weeks. When this is happening try to put yourself on the river mid day when the temps are at there highest. This is when the lethargic fish will be most willing to eat.

– Fish deeper water: When the water temps go through a significant drop the fish will find there way to slower deeper water. The fish that were just in faster water the week before will retreat to the slow deep stuff after the front hits.

– Dress accordingly: This comes as an obvious decision to me but I can’t tell you how many people come into the shop after being on the water for a few hours durring bad weather saying that they got wet or were to cold to fish. Yes, there is a point were it just becomes to cold to fish. However, with todays gear and clothing options there are many ways to keep yourself warm and dry. Be prepaired for what you are getting into and you will have fewer of those drives home where you feel like you wasted your day.